It is time to introduce the long term test bike of UK editor and Marketing Manager, Trev Worsey, the Focus SAM1 (Super All Mountain). This was the first bike to arrive in the fleet and Trev has already put in over 880 hard kilometers, 3 enduros, 2 big crashes and 20,000m of climbing on the SAM1, wearing through 2 sets of brake pads and a set of tyres in the process. This bike will be tested hard!
I was delighted to receive this bike, I met one of the design team, Fabian Scholtz last year on the EWS circuit and thought his prototype looked amazing. This bike is the result of a full season of testing, and the geometry screams – race bike. With a 65 degree head angle, this bike will need to be wound up to the limit before it will come alive. I am 180cm tall, and went for the medium as the Focus has a long 595mm top tube, I liked the look of the low slung frame as I have short legs and a good standover is critical.
This is the top end bike from Focus and the spec reflects this, it is all race ready with an XX1 drivetrain, Pike and Monarch + and a Reynolds AM 27.5 Carbon Wheelset. I have raced this already in 3 enduros and have not had to make any changes, it is a true out-of-the-box race bike.
I may make some small adjustments before the EWS in the Tweed Valley. I have been experimenting with 35mm stems and really like the snappy steering response, so I may fit one for the race if the stages are really tight and technical. I have never been a fan of Avid brakes, I have found them unreliable in the past, and on the second ride, the lower pivot retaining bolt fell out of the front lever, and I have suffered the wobbly action ever since. They also seem to eat brake pads, but they are the best performing Avids I have used so far.
I am quite a tyre swapper and will be testing a number of new 27.5 inch tyres on this bike. The standard Hans Dampfs (TS/PS) were great and would be my go-to tyre for all round riding, but they wore out fast in the aggressive terrain in the valley! I am currently testing some WTB Team Issue Vigilantes, which although heavy, have enough grip to pull the skin off the earth! Full review coming soon!
My focus with the Focus this year is to ride a lot, and race a lot too! I have signed up for the EWS in the Tweed Valley and Finale Ligure, and will also be racing in the POC Scottish Series, Irish Champs, UKGE, some of the EES rounds and the Bluegrass race in Sicily. However, this bike has to be more than a race bike, it needs to handle daily adventures, simple dog walks, long tours and some lift assisted alpine riding! Will the SAM1 be too uncompromising to be a do-it all machine, find out in the ride review soon!
Born: 1978 | Biking since: 1990’s | Height: 180cm | Weight: 80kg | Job: Editor & Marketing Manager at ENDURO | @Strava
Words and photos: Trev Worsey